I am so excited about this you guys. This year I celebrate the second coming of Christ. He is back! Let me tell you. So last this morning at work the board was in a corporate meeting. We were reconsidering our investment in the car industry due to the latest turmoil with emission, lies and half-truths. As a company we would rather not be associated with these shady dealings as it may turn the spotlight on us. And when push comes to shove, we just do not need that kind of attention. Simon, our head of the accounting team, was making his case: “Gentlemen, if the media found out we made our investmenets knowingly, it would put us in a bad position.” “How so?,” asked our head of human resources, Pillock. Pillock was a furious charismatic chap with a smile as warming as a mother’s kiss. He was extremely good at his job. Taking care of employees and pandering to people with money came naturally to him. Our CEO, the good Mr. Greatbigmoneybags described Pillock as: “A brainless brown-noser,” yet Pillock was always invited on poker nights. “Isn’t it obvious?,” aksed Derrik. Greatbigmoneybags coughed: “Yes, quite.” Pillock looked like a biker caught in a storm without a helmet for a second, but he relented. “So, what do you think we should invest in instead?” “It’s not that simple,” began Derrik. “Why not?,” asked Pillock. “Isn’t it obvious?,” came the reply. Silence. “Let me elaborate,” Derik began: “If we flat out drop our investments now, we would stand to lose shitloads of cash.” “Can’t have that,” commented Mr. Greatbigmoneybags. “So we need to invest in something that will facilitate the growth of the car industry while in and of itself being a good investment.” “Wouldn’t it be sufficient to just be an investmenet less terrible than our current engagement with the car industry?,” piped Ruby. She was the head of overseas production. Cute as a button and sharp as a razor, Mr. Greatbigmoneybags had noticed her talents early in her career. “Recent legislation demands at least 25% women on the board,” Mr. Greatbigmoneybags had told me: “She’s too many brains and too much initiative for her own good. Let her travel overseas when she gets too much. Let her lead the production, I say. And with 8 on the board and Richards murdered by the Chinese mob, or gangsters or whatever they call them, we need a woman more on the board. Awards us a bilateral amount with the whole ‘equalising women in the workplace’-thing going on. Good investment and we get her tits out of my tits. Win, win, I tell you.” None dared oppose him. And Ruby had just spend the week prior to the choice implementing a new paradigm at the coffee machine where if you would empty the machine, put a new one on right away, rather than have her make it every 30 minutes. We drink a lot of coffee. Needless to say, this was bloody annoying and she had to go. Mr. Greatbigmoneybags hired a local secretary to be her stand-in when she was overseas. Dumb-dumb we call him. Dumb and mute. Just as we like it. Makes a mean cup of coffee, too. And he never complains about making it. “Win, win,” as Mr. Greatbigmoneybags had said: “Win, win.”
Pillock looked puzzled at the statement and Derrik was somewhat taken aback: “Yes, that would be sufficient, but not optimal.” “Optimal in what way?,” asked Mr. Greatbigmoneybags. “Financially,” answered Simon and Derrik in unison. “Can’t have that,” coughed Mr. Greatbigmoneybags. “Well, do we have any ideas or alternatives?” Silence. Our head of marketing, Reginald, an old gentleman with over 50 years of experience in his field groaned: “How about,” and at least three of us sighed at once. Reginald was the slowest talker on the planet. When he opened his mouth, time stood still. He continued: “Oil is at an–” “Get to the point Reginald,” flashed Ruby impatiently. “In due time, sugartits,” answered Reginald slowly: “As I was saying,” another sigh echoed around the table: “Oil is at a low. Maybe we should consider this investment.” “How do you get from cars to oil,” protested Simon. Pillock seconded the confusion. Ruby intejected before the old man answered himself: “Well, cars run on gasoline. Gasoline is refined oil.” “Rather, shouldn’t we then invest in the gasoline industry?,” asked Pillock. “No, no, the gasoline industry is doing fine. Oil is not,” answered Simon glacially. “How do any of these investments facilitate the car industry?,” asked Derrik. “Yes,” murmured Pillock and continued: “Neither the gasoline nor oil industry run on cars.” “That… that’s not really the point,” remarked Simon while our head of research and development, Dexter, snorted in derision. Dexter was a young engineer with no practical experience in research and development. Mr. Greatbigmoneybags had met the bloke back when Dexter was a student. Mr. Greatbigmoneybags sized Dexter up to me: “There’s a fine young gentleman, if I’ve ever met one. Not a single thought in his head. No ideas. No initiative. Monkey see, monkey do. Exactly what we need for research and development. Have him copy the good ideas from our competitors – and we take no risks. Let them do the risky business and we then do fat cash and success. I like it!” “The problem is not the car industry, but the people reporting on the car industry,” remarked Mr. Greatbigmoneybags’ personal assistant Penny. “Hush girl,” Mr. Greatbigmoneybags interrupted her. She was a pretty young woman. Small, slender and exceptionally beautiful. We all knew the latter quality was the quality that landed her her job. Mr. Greatbigmoneybags had plenty of assistants and had no need of a personal assistant. When asked at the last corporate retreat by our then head of research and development Martins, Mr. Greatbigmoneybags had answered: “It’s like this. You’ve an empty spot on the wall. What do you hang there? An ugly piece of shit that’ll make your feel worse every time you glance at it, or a piece of pure beauty that’ll put a skip in your step and a hard cock in your hand? I had an empty desk in front of my office. What’d you do with it?” “But you just had that desk installed,” came the reply. Mr. Greatbigmoneybags fired Martins then and there: “Can’t have that kind of people around the office. Bad for business.” No one questioned his choices of personal assistants since. She was clever, though, no one could deny that. “So what you’re saying is, we should invest in something detrimental to the media coverage?,” asked Pillock. “Obscurring facts and being counterproductive is unethical,” interjected Ruby. “Oy! I told you, I hate that word. That’s two strikes now, Ruby,” warned Mr. Greatbigmoneybags. That was when the herald of the second coming of our lord and saviour entered the office.
A ragged man in raggy clothes entered the office and slammed the door with a bang. “Who the Hell are you?,” started Mr. Greatbigmoneybags. “Your Lord and Savior. I have the solution to your problem.” “Aw, bloody Hell, I’ve the head of every organ in the company on this board, but where’s the head of security when you need a brute.” “That’d put us below the 25% female threshold on the board,” interjected Penny. “Right. That’d lose us some government cash. Can’t have that. Get the brute in here. Why can’t the crazy hobos ever be chicks? It’d improve my bottom line.” “My name is Plugg,” began the hobo: “And I’ve been to the Hell and back. And now I come to save you from your salvation.” “What?,” asked Derrik and Dexter in confused unison. “The man’s here to save us, jeez,” explained Pillock. “That’s not what that means,” sighed Dexter. “Sure it is, it’s on wiki,” said Plugg: “Look it up.” “Security!,” called Mr. Greatbigmoneybags. Plugg continued despite the unrest around the table: “It started a week ago, when I was begging at the corner of 1st and Southwest when this girl–” “Did you bring her?,” asked Mr. Greatbigmoneybags. “No.” “Damn it, man. Think of my bottom line! If this gets out–” “She dropped her phone,” continued Plugg: “And so I went on the Internet. To Hell and back.” “That’s it?,” asked Dexter. “Yes. I’d nothing else to do, so I browsed the web. I spent a week reading 4chan, reddit, tumblr and countless YouTube comment sections. I come before you, born anew. Back from Hell. And I now understand how this world and life works. I come before you with the answer to life, the universe and everything.” “It’s 42,” sighed Dexter. “How’d you know!?,” protested Plugg. “It’s in a book.” “Book!? That’s some hipster shizz right there. No, your assistant had the better of it. The coverage’s griefing is imba.” “Griefing? Imba?,” asked Reginald. Slowly. “Yeah, it’s harshing your mellows. You have to convince twitter that the emission debate is sexist or racist. Preferably both. Then, you’re back in business.” “No, that’s not how this–,” began Ruby when Pillock interrupted her: “Oh, just entertain the hobo, will you? While we’re waiting for security. Won’t cost us anything.” “Alright,” commented Mr. Greatbigmoneybags: “In that case, let’s hear him out. How much’ll this proposal of yours set us back?” “Social media accounts are free,” answered Plugg. “I like where this is going,” commented Mr. Greatbigmoneybags and beckoned Plugg to continue. “You see, there’s no greater force in this world than hate on social media. Picture this. It’s like a whale in the sky – a sky whale – that, when told something is racist, sexist, ableist, or our Lord forbid, offensive, will fall from the sky and flap violently in the general direction of the issue, but never actually touch the issue itself. Flapping sky whale terror, gentlemen. That’s exactly what you need.” “Huh,” exclaimed Derrik after a pause of silence. “Right,” commented Mr. Greatbigmoneybags: “How’d we go about this?”
“You see, the problem is some cars are lying about emissions. Not because of some Terminator-BS with machines rising up against us, but because the cars were told to lie.” “By who?,” asked Pillock. “Whom,” corrected Reginald and Ruby. “That’s just it. No one knows except internally. And they ain’t talking.” “Do they outsource car production to Asia?,” asked Dexter. “No, sadly, otherwise this’d been an easy case.” The door slammed open and a tall brute burst in: “You called security?” “Took you long enough,” said Mr. Greatbigmoneybags: “This hobo just wandered in. What kind of operation are we running here?” The brute looked at the hagged hobo Plugg: “I’ll take care of it.” “The Hell you will. Look around. We’re eight guys and two chicks in here. If someone was to snap a picture, I’d stand to lose thousands a year in government funding. Get out and get a girl in here. Now!” “Sir?,” asked the confused head of security. “Get out and get a girl in here!,” roared Mr. Greatbigmoneybags. “Any girl?,” asked the head of security. “Any girl will do.” As the door shut, Reginald took the word. Slowly: “Well, the Danish government reported the descrepancy in emissions to the European Union over a year ago. No one reacted or cared.” Plugg nodded. “Do anyone else feel ten years older after that comment?,” asked Dexter. Laughs all around. Except Ruby. “Okay, so the car industry is lobbying an anti-Scandinavian agenda. It’s a start, but not really shitstorm material.” “Why not?,” asked Derrik. “Well, there are only six million Danes that may get pissed off. And little more than half of ’em are anti-EU. So you’re looking at three million potential hate mongerers.” “Needs more appeal, then,” nodded Derrik. “We could slap some tits on it,” proposed Reginald. Slowly. He continued: “Maybe a fine ass or two as well.” “That’s pretty sexist,” mumbled Ruby. Plugg budded in: “No it’s not. What you need to understand is that Reginald is old and just a product of his own time.” “What?,” protested Ruby, but found only disagreeing head shakes around the table. She sighed: “Nevermind, go on.” “Hey, I don’t make these rules; the Internet makes the rules,” Plugg consoled but received only a retaliatory scoff. “I think we’d better take an environmentalist approach,” said Plugg: “The most toxic of the hate mongerers are pro-environment no matter what.” A flash of enthutiasm sparked in Plugg’s eyes: “Oh, this is a great idea! Those never fail to piss off the anti-pro-environmentalists.” “What are those?” “People that are against people who are openly pro-enviroment. Technically it’s a bit broader than that. Those people are anti anyone pro-anything.” “I’m confused,” admitted Pillock. Mr. Greatbigmoneybags shot him a disapproving glance.
A girl entered gingerly. “Aw, he sent the ugly black one from HR,” sighed a disappointed Reginald. Slowly. “That’s my assistant,” Pillock reminded the old man. “That was racist and sexist, Reginald,” protested Ruby. Plugg then reminded her once more, why that was not the case. “Sit down, and hush. Try not to listen. If anyone comes in with a camera, smile,” said Mr. Greatbigmoneybags and gestured her towards a chair at the back of the room. Slowly she walked around the table ever so lightly socked Reginald square in the face as she passed by. “That’s sexual harassment, though,” said Plugg. “What!?,” roared Ruby. “No no,” coughed Reginald slowly and chuckled lecherously: “It’s fine. I like it rough.” “Ewwww–,” started Pillock when Plugg interrupted and got back on track: “So, we spin it like this: the industry’s anti-environmentalist and supports the eradication of the rain forest, the bengal tiger and pandas.” “But that’s not true,” defied Ruby. “I’m starting to see a pattern here,” said Plugg. “Yes, quite,” said Mr. Greatbigmoneybags and straightened his tie: “Ruby, be a darling and go fetch us some refills.” “No,” protested Ruby. “Penny, you do it, then.” “No!,” roared Ruby: “Why can’t a man do it?” “Hush, the men are talking big business here and it’s obviously too much for you to keep up with. Get out.” “But then your ratio’d be wrong again.” “Right, right. Take Reginald with you. PR’s nothing to do with marketing campaigns anyway.” The old man and Ruby got up and left the room. Simon took the word: “Right. So we’ve got a campaign strategy. Who’s to take charge?” “I’ll do it,” said Plugg.” “You don’t work here,” protested Mr. Greatbigmoneybags: “I’d have to put you on the payroll. Don’t like the sound of that.” “Well, it was worth a shot,” Plugg nodded, bowed and left the room. “We can finish without him,” said Simon. “Yes. Social media is a recent development, right?,” asked Mr. Greatbigmoneybags. “Yeah,” nodded Dexter and Penny. “Dexter’ll do it, then. He does research and developments. Go do social media. And I want a report on Monday.” Dexter looked confused. Reluctant. Uncomprehending. Then he nodded in agreement: “Got it. I’ll take care of it. Lying cars kill pandas.” Mr. Greatbigmoneybags smiled: “Good. That’ll be all.” Derrik threw me a glance: “And what does the head of quality assurance have to say about all this?”
Let me tell you. The reaction to the campaign was astronmical. The Internet blew up and the hate mongering spread like wild fire. Death threats became a daily, hourly and minutely event. Of course, the real world does not operate by social media rules. Facts eventually emerged. The death threats vanished. The hate turned to reflected affection and empathy. Empathy! Can you believe it? People felt sorry for the undeservably hate-ridden poor sods. No one cared about our campagin. No one cared about us. Sure, the stocks took an initial blow. But what is dead may never die, but rises again with greater profit to the shareholders. I guess this was a kind of Stockholm-syndrome: feeling sorry for the needlessly scorned. And needless scorn is easy to come by on the social media, it seems. And it was this crazy hobo that had us embrace the eighth wonder of the world: Social media. None of us even saw Plugg again. Then again no one cared to look for him. Anyway, this year I celebrate the hobo that opened our eyes and saved us from a potential slight financial loss. Cheers for the free hate-mongering jackasses on social media that allow themselves to be goated and manipulated without thought: the best development in marketing and campaigning in the history of the World. And it is absolutely free. Thanks guys! As Mr. Greatbigmoneybags would say: “I like the sound of that.”